Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer: Shit Shit Shit

Sunny is bald. She has an autistic son. She has an astronaut husband (who is building robots to help make the moon habitable). She was raised in Burma. Her father was a missionary there, and he was executed. Her mother is on life support. While any one of these aspects would make for an interesting novel, Lydia Netzer has instead decided to chew them all up and promptly regurgitate them into the chunky, unsightly mess that is Shine Shine Shine.

Both Amazon and People Magazine have been fooled by Netzer’s strategy, but I can see it for what it is – a desperate attempt to appeal to Oprah Book Club fans. This is not brilliant writing; this is someone that haphazardly tossed a slew of sappy elements together with a flimsy plot constructed around them. Sunny, bald from birth for unknown reasons, purchased her first wig shortly after marrying Maxon, and since that time has devolved into a superficial Stepford wife. Although she does not work, she has a nanny to help her care for her autistic son. Upon a minor car accident, Sunny is more concerned with the neighbors seeing her hairless head than she is with her sensitive son’s well-being. Oh, she also does not seem worried about unborn child, who is due within the month. We are clearly encouraged to admire Sunny’s growth as she bravely goes wigless for the rest of the novel.  Well, bald or with fake hair, she’s still a bitch. She starts marginally caring about her husband and her children by the end of the novel, but her ultimate concern is still Sunny. Well, Sunny’s head anyway.

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